# Music Theory People! Interval Help! (Augmented, Diminished, Major, Minor)

I'm currently taking music theory classes and I'm coming toward the end of the grade 5 sylabis. The only thing I don't understand is the theory of intervals. My teacher has given me two intervals to work out - and I was wondering if someone could help me with them, as it may help me understand it all a bit better.

The first one is the key of G major. The inverval is G to D#.

The second is in the key of D major. The interval is D to F#.

Help!
Its just how many notes are in between those two notes, while staying in key.
Quote by Tomaz24
I'm currently taking music theory classes and I'm coming toward the end of the grade 5 sylabis. The only thing I don't understand is the theory of intervals. My teacher has given me two intervals to work out - and I was wondering if someone could help me with them, as it may help me understand it all a bit better.

The first one is the key of G major. The inverval is G to D#.

G to D# is an augmented fifth.
The second is in the key of D major. The interval is D to F#.

D to F# is a major third.

Analyzing these specific intervals is good to a point, but do you now understand why these intervals are what they are?
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
It would be difficult for me to explain but there is a sticky on theory and i think that intervals are in that.
the first interval is an Augmented 5th and the second is a Major 3rd.

haha nevermind i was beaten to it
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If you need help with this stuff just let me know, i'm teaching a theory class next semester. So i should be able to help you out.
Quick lesson.
Chromatic scale
G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F#
1 b2 2 b3 3 4 a4 5 a5 6 b7 7

So if you start on G as your root note then work up to D# it is a5 or Augmented 5th.

Best way to understand and learn to get good at knowing intervals well would be to ask your theory lesson teacher things you arn't sure about and as practice( i do this)
decide what interval your going to practice like 4ths and write a list going down like below and work out what the 4th is for each of them. Btw this lis is just the Circle of 5ths but as a list which is also very helpful to learn.

C
G
D
A
E
B
Gb
Dd
Ab
Eb
Bb
F

I will shred in the end!!
^G# is not a b2 and A# is not a b3. They should read Ab and Bb respectively.
Quote by Johnljones7443
^G# is not a b2 and A# is not a b3. They should read Ab and Bb respectively.
This is 100% correct. Those wishing to post lessons should be sure of their material.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
Intervals:

It helps tremendously if you know your major scale since intervals are named in relation to their position in the major scale.

If you know the Major Scale well then you might want to skip to Naming Intervals
The major scale is made up of a step pattern as follows:
W W H W W W H
where H= half step or semitone, this is equivalent to moving one place along the chromatic scale notes separated by a semitone appear side by side in the chromatic scale. On the guitar this is equivalent of moving one fret.
W = Whole tone or whole step or just tone. This is equivalent to skipping one note and landing on the next note.

So if the chromatic scale is
C - C#/Db - D - D#Eb - E - E#/F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab - A - A#/Bb - B - B#/C
and we apply our step pattern our first note is C. This is 1, or a root. If we play this same note without moving to a different octave at the same time it is said to be a unison.

So starting on our root note and moving up as prescribed by our step pattern W W H W W W H we move up a whole step - so we skip the note C#/Db and land on D for our second note.
We then move up another whole step from the D so skip D#/Eb and land on E for our third note. Following along the step pattern we then move up a half step to the very next note after E and get E#/F. Since we have already used E to name a note in this scale we will call this one F.

We carry on until we have our full scale starting with the root note C.
C D E F G A B C. This pattern carries on repeating C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C etc.

Naming Intervals
We will start with ascending intervals only and move on to descending intervals...

So now we take our major scale and give each note a number starting with C as 1.
C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

This is the start of naming intervals.
Some kind of C to some kind of D is some kind of 2nd.
Some kind of C to some kind of E is some kind of 3rd.
Some kind of C to some kind of F is some kind of 4th.
Some kind of C to some kind of G is some kind of 5th.
Some kind of C to some kind of A is some kind of 6th.
Some kind of C to some kind of B is some kind of 7th.
C to C is an 8th or an OCTave.

We can carry on too.
Some kind of C to some kind of D is some kind of 2nd or 9th
Some kind of C to some kind of E is some kind of 3rd or 10th
Some kind of C to some kind of F is some kind of 4th or 11th etc etc you get the idea.

As you can see all we need to do to find out the kind of interval between any two notes is to start and count the first interval letter as 1 then count each letter up till we get to the right one. So to use your example G to D# we count letters G=1 A=2 B=3 C=4 D=5. Haha so we know some kind of G to some kind of D is some kind of 5th. But what kind of 5th is it exactly?? What is the quality of the 5th?

This is where our major scale comes back into play. There are two kinds of intervals found in the major scale - Major Intervals and Perfect Intervals. We'll come to why they are called what they are in a minute but first I'll just tell you. The perfect intervals are the Unison (1st or root), the 4th, the 5th, and the Octave (8th). The Major Intervals are the 2nd 3rd 6th and 7th.

As we said all the intervals in the major scale are either major or perfect. So we can apply these qualities to our major scale.
C=1 = Unison (perfect but usually just called unison)
D=2 = Major Second
E=3 = Major Third
F=4 = Perfect Fourth
G=5 = Perfect Fifth
A=6 = Major Sixth
B=7 = Major Seventh
C=8 = Octave (Perfect but usually just called Octave)

Now because these distances are derived from the major scale and the step pattern in the major scale is always the same we can see that the distances in terms of intervals are always the same. A Major Second will always be one whole tone. A Major Third will always be two tones. A Perfect Fourth will always be two and a half tones. etc etc.

So what happens when they are outside the major scale?? Well the first thing to do is determine what size the interval is. Is it a fourth or a fifth etc. You do this by counting letters. If we look at your example G to D# we see G A B C D, G is the first letter and D is the fifth so it is some kind of fifth. Now we want to know if it is perfect or not.

We know from our major scale that a perfect fifth is always seven semitones up from the first note. If we count the steps from G to D# we get 8 semitones. So what do we call this kind of fifth? Similarly if we went from C to D# - we know C to D is a Major second but what is this C to D#?

Now when a Major or Perfect Interval is raised one semitone it becomes Augmented.
When a Major interval is lowered by a semitone it becomes Minor.
When a Minor or Perfect Interval is lowered by a semitone it becomes Diminished.

This also works in reverse
So when a Minor Semitone is raised by a semitone it becomes Major.

Here's a little chart
``````[CENTER]  _____________________
|      Augmented      |
↑|---------------------|↑
|  Major   |          |
↕|----------|  Perfect |
|  Minor   |          |
↓|---------------------|↓
|[U]     Diminished      [/U]|

If you follow the arrows you should be able to see how it works.
On the left you have your Major/Minor Intervals
On the right are your Perfect Intervals[/CENTER]``````

So we can then work out any interval. We can learn to count semitones. Or we can learn the circle of fifths and our major scales. Then we will always know.

Inverse Intervals
An inverse is when we move in the opposite direction.

Going from C up to G is a Perfect Fifth but what if the G is lower than the C? What then??
Well lets count the letters going down. C B A G - So we know this distance is some kind of fourth. But is it Perfect Major, Minor, Augmented, or Diminished??

Well we can count the semitones and find that there are five semitones which is equal to a perfect fourth. Or we can look at inverse relationships.

If we know C up to G is a Perfect 5th then we take note of that "Perfect" Quality. When we "Invert" this interval (keep the same target note but down an octave so that it is below our starting note) the Perfect Quality remains in tact. An inversion of a Perfect Interval is always Perfect. This is what is so "Perfect" about it.

So a Perfect Fifth inverted becomes a Perfect Fourth and a Perfect Fourth Inverted becomes a Perfect Fifth.

A Major interval on the other hand becomes Minor when inverted. So if we have a Major 3rd C to E and drop the E an octave so that we are moving down from C to E the distance we move will now be a MINOR interval down. What kind of major interval? Lets count the letters C B A G F E six letters - So it's a minor sixth (you can count the semitones to check if you want).

An Augmented Interval inverts to a Diminished interval and a Diminished interval inverts to an Augmented interval.

Now it can be easier just to always start with the lower note and work out the interval then just note whether you are travelling up from it or down to it.

Or you can just learn your inversions it's not that hard.
Remember qualities:
Perfect ⇔ Perfect
Major ⇔ Minor
Augmented ⇔ Diminished

And size:
2 ⇔ 7
3 ⇔ 6
4 ⇔ 5

1 ⇔ 1
8 ⇔ 8
``````
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
|             |         |[B]DISTANCE[/B] |              [B]NAME [/B]             |                                |
|             |         |   [B]in[/B]    |             [B]  of [/B]              |                                |
|[U]    [B]NAME[/B]     | [B]Numeric[/B] |[B]SEMITONES[/B]|            [B]INTERVAL[/B]            |           [b] INVERSION [/b]          [/u]|
|[U]Tonic        |    1    |    0    |           Unison/Root          |           Unison/Root          [/u]|
|             |   b2    |    1    |            Minor 2nd           |            Major 7th           |
|Super Tonic  |- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]             |    2    |    2    |            Major 2nd           |            Minor 7th           [/U]|
|             |   b3    |    3    |            Minor 3rd           |            Major 6th           |
|Mediant      |- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]             |    3    |    4    |            Major 3rd           |            Minor 6th           [/U]|
|[U]Sub Dominant |    4    |    5    |           Perfect 4th          |           Perfect 5th          [/U]|
|[U]Tri Tone     |  #4/b5  |    6    | Augmented 4th / Diminished 5th | Augmented 4th / Diminished 5th [/U]
|[U]Dominant     |    5    |    7    |           Perfect 5th          |           Perfect 4th          [/U]|
|             |   b6    |    8    |            Minor 6th           |            Major 3rd           |
|Sub Mediant  |- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]             |    6    |    9    |            Major 6th           |            Minor 3rd           [/U]|
|Sub Tonic    |   b7    |    8    |            Minor 7th           |            Major 2nd           |
|- - - - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]Leading Tone |    7    |    11   |            Major 7th           |            Minor 2nd           [/U]|
|[U]Tonic        |    1    |    12   |              Octave            |              Octave            [/U]
``````

Anyway that's my spiel for the day. I hope it helps and you don't just take the answers from the guys helping you cheat that just posted the answers.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 27, 2008,
Only a few questions 20Tigers, you notated the Major & Minor 7ths...

The rule I learnt was slightly different.

For a Major 7th, its technical name is a Leading Tone (because of course it leads to the tonic)

For a Minor 7th however, its a Sub-Tonic, because it no longer has a pull to the tonic.
Yes. this is true ^

I fix now
Si